Bus Glossary - Motor Coach Industries

  Motor Coach Industries is North America's leading motorcoach manufacturer and has been in business for over 70 years.

 ###X(L)3/X##00 Series

Model Number Breakdown Description
96 = 96 inches wide
= 102 inches wide
A/B/C/D/E/F/G/J = Model
L = 45 feet in length (102-DL3)
2 = 2 rear axles
3 = 3 rear axles

[MCI reverted to this scheme in 2000:]
D/E/F/G/J = Model
3500 = 35 feet in length
4000 = 40 feet in length
= 40-foot prototype G-Series
4500 = 45 feet in length

MCI was established in 1933 in Winnipeg.  Greyhound Canada acquired MCI in 1958 but was then sold to a Mexican company in 1994.  Throughout its history, MCI has produced a number of quality motorcoaches.

The MCI D-Series is known as the workhorse of the motorcoach industry, and is currently North America's best-selling coach.  Some transit agencies have even begun running MCI motorcoaches.

The MC-8 looks very similar to the MC-9.  Two features of the MC-8 are the bump in the roof, and the window design.  The two circular headlights are also present on the MC-9, making it somewhat difficult to distinguish between the two models.


The MC-9 was produced for 11 years, with 9513 coaches built.  The MC-9 is the all-time most popular coach in North America.  The coach has square side windows and has a straight roofline.  Also produced was the MC-9 "Special", which was produced solely for Greyhound Lines of Canada.  One of the main features that differs from the original MC-9 is that it has square headlights as seen in the picture to the right.

The MC-12 is a bus which was built exclusively for Greyhound Lines Inc.  It is easily confused with the MC-9S, as it also has the square headlights and a similar body.  These coaches are found mainly in the USA, while the MC-9S is only found in Canada.  A few Canadian coach companies and American correctional facilities have received a handful of MC12 units that were not delivered to GLI.  The front cap has a different design than the MC-9 series, while the rear is similar to the A and C series.  Most MC12's were powered by the Detroit Diesel 6V-92 engine, but due to the discontinuation of the 6V-92, later models were equipped with the DD Series 50 engine.

96-A2, 96-A3, 102-A2, 102-A3

The A-series coaches were produced from 1985 to 1992.  They look very similar to the popular C series, but they are not the same.  The headlights are the main feature used to distinguish these buses apart.  Because this bus had the same taillights as the 102-C3, it is easy to confuse them.  This model and the 102-B3 were the only buses to have a destination sign area built into the bus.


The 102-C3 is the predecessor of the D-series.  The front end is nearly the same as the D-series, but the rear lights are the same as the A-series.  The slant in the rear tells us that the coach is a 102-C3 instead of a 102-D3.  This model was produced between 1987 and 1993.  Some late model C-Series coaches had a rear end similar to the D-Series.  The last 102C3 rolled off the production line in December 1993.

102-D3, 102-DL3, D4000, D4500

The D-series is the reliable workhorse of MCI's line of coaches.  Introduced in 1992, the D-series represents a major turning point in the history of MCI.  It has a completely redesigned rear end, and was the first MCI coach to be built in the United States with a length of 45 feet.  The new Detroit Diesel Series 60 engine became the standard engine for the D-Series.  A 40-foot version, the 102D3, was introduced in 1994.  A, B, and C-Series coaches could not accommodate the bigger engine size.  This series of buses is still in production as the D4000 and D4500, and is available with stainless steel siding.

102-EL3, E4500 "Renaissance"

The E-Series is the top-of-the-line flagship model in MCI's lineup.  Introduced in 1997, it was a successful attempt to create a high-tech, luxurious coach.  It was designed with help from BMW engineers.  Currently, the E-Series is the most popular conversion shell on the market.  The E-Series is known for its distinct rounded front end and curling stairwell.


The F-Series is perhaps the oddest, most interesting coach in MCI's lineup.  The F-Series was originally produced by Mexican-based Dina as the model 330.  Its suspension was based off the legendary Flxible Metro, which is renowned for its soft, cushy ride.  Dina went out of business in the late 1990s, and MCI stepped in to continue production of the 330, which MCI dubbed the "F" Series.  Since then, the F-Series has become very popular with limo companies and small transit agencies, but it is now discontinued.

G4100, G4500

The G-Series started out as a request from GLI (Greyhound Lines Inc.) for an economical yet durable coach to replace the MC-12, which was also originally made specifically for GLI.  What resulted was a new, economical, 45-foot coach that was based on the 40-foot MC-12 chassis.  A handful of 40-foot prototypes, the G4100, were built, but mass production of the G4100 never came about.  Though built specifically for GLI, many charter and coach companies are beginning to purchase G4500s.  The G-Series can be easily recognized by its modern silver-framed headlights and the refined slant in its window line.


The J-Series represents a mid-level hybrid coach.  Introduced in 2001, it combines the modern styling of the E-Series, with the affordability, simplicity and toughness of the D-Series.  Because it offers the best of both worlds, the J-Series is marketed far more than the D and E-Series.  The J-Series can be recognized by the "bald" area above the windshield and its clear, enclosed, round LED taillight fixtures.

TC40102N "Classic"

The transit bus dubbed the "Classic" was originally introduced by General Motors.  Production of this model by MCI began in 1987 and lasted until 1993, when it was sold to Nova Bus.  The "Classic" was the successor to the extremely popular GM "Fishbowl" model, and as a result was also very successful.  MCI's only progression with the "Classic" was introducing an articulated model, but only a small number of these were sold.

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